Basketball Eldo vs Americas

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Aztecs Holds Off in OT to Top Blazers, 41-40

By Alex Thompson, Sports Editor

 

The El Dorado Aztecs hosted the Americas Trailblazers in an important game to top the district standings on Tuesday night. The Trailblazers came into the game with a 21-1 record, lead by senior Jamuare Gregg. However, the Aztecs answered the challenge with an underdog record of 15-5, and won in overtime 41-40 under command of senior DJ Worrell’s huge defensive presence.

 

The first half started slow only because of the strong defense presented by both teams. Americas ended the first quarter atop El Dorado 12-7. Low shots were recorded from both teams. The Aztecs only saw senior Ronnie Fauntleroy score, as well as junior Cedarious Barfield close the half with an acrobatic layup. When they headed to the locker, Americas was up 18-13.

 

“We’re going up soft. Get a pump fake and they’ll always jump. Easy basket,” said Coach Raul Lopez during a huddle in the locker room.

 

The second half was the start of the comeback for the Aztecs. Barfield coming off the bench proved to spark the energy El Dorado needed on the floor. Senior Isaac Menchaca drilled back to back three pointers, followed by a put-back dunk highlight by Worrell that ignited the Aztec crowd. The deficit was cut down to two points for the Aztecs, as the quarter ended 29-27.

 

The fourth quarter was jaw-dropping, coming down to the final seconds. Worrell tied the game with six minutes left in the quarter. Worrell also made an emphatic play by blocking four shots in one possession, stopping the Blazers from scoring and maintaining a lead.

 

“Those are the moments I always cherish, because everyone gets so hyped and I think I’m a very defensive liability by blocking shots and rebounding,” Worrell said.

 

Barfield then made a key steal to tie the game up with a fast break layup. The back-to-back game was put to a halt once Fauntleroy pulled up a fade-away jump shot to ensure overtime with 37-37.

 

El Dorado pulled away late into overtime with a four-point run followed by Fauntleroy’s go ahead jump shot. Barfield snatched another steal and key block on a Blazers game-tying field goal attempt.

 

“We picked up our heads and came out the locker room wanting that win,” Barfield said. “I just had to be the team player, do my role for the team, and get that block (and score) for my teammates.”

 

The Trailblazers then missed two out of three free throws, which sealed the game for the Aztecs. The game ended at 40-41 with the Aztecs triumphing over the tough district opponent.

 

“Well in the beginning it was tough and overall we think we’re the best team in the city,” Worrell said on coming out to beat top seeded Americas high school. “Hopefully we can keep this win streak going and then win district.”

 

The Aztecs’ play tonight at 6 p.m. at Eastwood High School.